Deadline approaching: You now have less than 1 year to get a Real ID, which is required for flying
New Jersey residents who are 18 years and older now have less than a year to get a new form of identification if they want to fly out of any American airport.
The deadline to get a Real ID is May 3, 2023. Regular New Jersey driver’s licenses won’t be enough to get on a plane. Officials say that people should not wait to get a Real ID.
“Don’t wait until April 2023 when you can imagine the line is going to be extreme,” says Thomas Carter, federal security director of the New Jersey division of the Transportation Security Administration.
TSA officials were at Newark Liberty International Airport on Wednesdays to encourage New Jersey residents to start making their appointments with the Motor Vehicle Commission to get the ID.
The previous deadline was pushed back because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
So what is a Real ID?
"The Real ID-compliant identification has more security functions in there and it's more standardized across the entire country rather than having multiple different state IDs that might have different data available. This requires a standard,” says Carter.
The new ID will look a bit different and will feature a yellow star in the top right corner. They can be obtained by making an appointment with the MVC.
"There's going to be some critical documents to validate your identification, such as utility bills, passports, birth certificates and things of that nature,” says Carter.
This all comes as the TSA predicts that traveling will hit pre-pandemic levels this summer.
"Our busiest day in our history here at Newark airport, there was a little over 80,000 in August 2019 and we expect to hit that on certain key days, if not get very, very close, or if not, exceed it, so we're looking to see a very, very busy summer ahead,” says Carter.
Those not planning to get a Real ID but who still want to travel within the United States will be able to use a passport to board a domestic flight.